Idaho Cattle Ranches for Sale

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Beef Cattle Ranching in Idaho - Land Broker MLS

Idaho has a formidable beef cattle ranching industry. The state is the 13th largest producer of beef cattle in the United States. Idaho is home to approximately 7,500 different beef cattle operations, a number that doesn't account for families that have one or two steers in their backyard which they're raising as youth agriculture projects or for their own personal beef. One of the more interesting things about Idaho's beef industry is that the state is home to one of the few wagyu beef producers in the United States.

Idaho Beef Cattle Ranchers Often Focus on Improving the Nation's Beef Cattle

While many states are home to beef producers who focus on raising calves that eventually are turned into steaks and hamburgers, multiple Idaho beef cattle ranchers have focused their efforts on raising cattle with sought after genetics, which are then sold throughout the country as seedstock for other cattle ranchers. The list of fifteen top seedstock beef producers in the United States contains the names of three different Idaho operations. One of the calf/cow operations that produces high-quality seedstock runs a ranch that is home to more than 30,000 brood cows.

While Idaho's beef cattle industry is primarily known for raising seedstock, there isn't a shortage of stockyards that produce high-end, grain-fed beef. Even though Texas is famous for these types of operations, Idaho is home to two of the biggest feedlots in the United States. Most of the beef cattle that are raised for meat in Idaho are shipped to the Boise area where there are multiple beef processing centers, including the 10th largest in the US.

Choosing the Best Idaho Cattle Ranch

The type of cattle ranch that works for one beef producer won't necessarily suit another. Factors that have to be considered include whether the terrain is too rough, wet, or attractive to predators for cattle to be raised in a stress free environment. If you intend on making grain-fed beef the primary focus of your cattle ranch, you'll need enough land to grow corn as well as storage facilities to keep it. At least a portion of the property will have to be set aside as hayfields, so you can feed the cattle throughout the winter. Most ranchers choose to keep the flat fields that don't have an abundance of rocks for hay and pasture.

Beef cattle are tough and don't require as much shelter as dairy cattle, but the ranch should have enough man-made or natural structures for the cattle to seek shelter from heat, rain, and snowstorms.

If you're not planning on providing water tanks for the cattle, the ranch must have multiple natural water sources that the cattle can easily and safely reach. Creeks and rivers with steep banks aren't suitable for watering cattle.

While beef cattle do well on all types of soil, the best is loamy soil that's been fertilized and drains well. This type of ground produces a great deal of nutrient-packed grass that encourages beef cattle to graze in one place rather than wandering for several miles each day while they forage for food.

Nancy M. Cummings Research, Extension and Education Center

The Nancy M. Cummings Research, Extension and Education Center is one of Idaho's most interesting resources for the beef industry. The ranch was established to help explore cattle ranching in Idaho and provide the state's cattle ranchers with hard scientific data about the best conditions for raising beef cattle. In addition to being the source of several beef cattle ranching research projects, the center also runs several educational programs, including:

  • Cowboy school
  • Reproductive management courses
  • Foraging courses
Idaho's Beef Industry Cares

In 2011, several Idaho beef organizations united in a common cause to ensure that everyone in the state of Idaho had access to high-quality beef protein. Beef producers generously donated large amounts of beef to Idaho food banks. Organizations that participate in the program include:

  • Boise-based Agri Beef Co.
  • Idaho Cattle Association
  • Idaho Cattle Women's Association
  • Idaho Beef Council.

This program is ongoing.

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